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NTU awarded funding for widening participation in postgraduate research

NTU has been awarded funding under a joint Research England and Office for Students (OfS) programme to improve access and participation for Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in postgraduate research (PGR) study.


The new projects, worth nearly £8 million, are innovative in scope, scale and focus to an extent that has not been seen in England before. Delivered over the next four years, they will improve access into research, and enhance the research culture and experience for Black, Asian and minority ethnic PGR students. The projects will also diversify and enhance routes into a range of careers.

The projects range from targeting recruitment, admissions and transition, increasing the number of Black, Asian and minority ethnic female professors, and generating new admissions practices to creating longitudinal, systemic, and structural change at several English universities.

Panel co-Chairs, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and Maisha Islam, said:

“Over the course of 2020-21, the longstanding urgency for racial equality was incredibly obvious. We are confident that this competition will be a significant step of tangible action, investment and commitment to support these aims in the context of English Higher Education.

“We have sought to back projects that have demonstrated authentic engagement and partnership work with their students and colleagues of colour, and a commitment to continue this as part of their own ongoing evaluations.

“This is only one of many first steps, as systemic inequalities will not disappear overnight. We are acutely aware of how much further the sector needs to travel to be in a position to allow people of all backgrounds to flourish and establish the most outstanding research and innovation sector with a formidable research culture to match."

Dr Rebekah Smith McGloin, Director, Doctoral School and Research Operations, said:

Ensuring equity and diversity in doctoral education is incredibly important to the vitality and sustainability of UK research.

I’m pleased to be leading one of only 13 projects funded to increase participation of black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in doctoral education. I’m very much looking forward to working in close partnership with Liverpool John Moores and Sheffield Hallam universities and the NHS trusts across the three cities of Nottingham, Liverpool and Sheffield to address barriers to inclusion in recruitment, admissions and transition into the doctorate.

Over the next four years, the project will see the establishment of a new part-time PhD programme for NHS staff from racialised groups across the three cities. Additionally, there’ll be development of a novel framework for doctoral admission that could help to overturn degree classification as the principal route and major barrier to entry onto a doctorate and the co-creation of a bespoke coaching programme for PGR from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, supervisors and professional service staff to address causal factors for disparities in PGR success between ethnic groups.

I’m delighted that, through this project, NTU will be at the forefront of work to ensure a more inclusive approach to setting future research agenda and to diversifying the talent pipeline into research.

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Published on 30 November 2021
  • Category: Press office; Research